Tuesday, January 11, 2011

crm/academic partnerships

The last statistics I saw suggested over half of archaeologists work in CRM. Yet, we hear frequent complaints that undergraduate and graduate students are not being trained for such jobs. So, I was interested to see this article about a partnership between Hurt and Proffitt (a civil engineering company) and Sweet Briar college. Hurt and Proffitt are going to pay for the renovation and equipping of a new archaeology lab at Sweet Briar. Two adjunct professors at Sweet Briar, who run Hurt and Proffitt's CRM program, will supervise paid student workers in the lab, and coordinate with specialists as needed. The students with this experience will have access to paid summer internships, as well as other research opportunities.

I worked for CRM companies my last few years in grad school, and much of the data for my dissertation came from CRM work. This was common in my program, and I'm very supportive of partnerships between academic and private interests. Some of the analytical specialists in my grad programs were running contracts through their labs, which helped employ their students and give them experience. I hadn't considered the opportunities to do this at a small, liberal arts college like Sweet Briar, but I'm sold on the model! I spent a few minutes thinking about whether we could do it here, but I don't think there's enough work in the region. And I don't have a real lab. And I don't have enough students. Darn.

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